Individuals who want careers in information technology (IT) but can’t attend college full time often wonder what they can do with an online Master’s in Information Technology. They’re usually very excited to hear the many possibilities that may be available to them upon graduation. Information technology is a field that’s used in every industry, which bodes well for the individual pursuing a degree in information technology. Individuals interested in earning a master’s in IT online will find the information they need here.

See our ranking of the Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Information Technology Degrees Online.

What is Information Technology?

Information technology is an interdisciplinary field that combines information technology with computer science, communications, and business management. IT specialists use their knowledge of computer systems, databases, networking and information systems to help an organization run as smooth and efficient as possible. If an organization is having problems with their computer system, their networking system or any of their software, it’s generally the IT specialists who are called. Their knowledge of and experience with systems analysis, network engineering and technical support allow them to provide companies with the assistance they need to continue to remain profitable.

What Does an Online Master’s in IT Entail?

Individuals enrolled in an online master’s in information technology program can earn the degree at home at their own pace because coursework is completed over the Internet. The master’s degree program usually can be completed in two to three years, but it can vary based on the student’s commitment. Students in the online IT program will learn about information security, information systems management, database systems, and network technologies. Many of the programs also include subjects like business intelligence, project management, and similar business-oriented subjects.

During the final year, the student may be required to complete a capstone project, which requires the student’s knowledge of information technology to solve a real-world problem. Master’s in information technology programs also allow students the opportunity to choose areas of specializations like information technology management; cybersecurity; information security and assurance; Web design and application development; business analytics; and data management. U.S. News & World Report states that it’s beneficial for online IT students to join professional organizations such as the Associate for Information Technology Professionals.

Career Opportunities for Information Technology Graduates

Although many IT specialists start their careers with bachelor’s degrees, many employers prefer their applicants have graduate degrees for certain positions. Graduates of Online Master’s In Information Technology programs may be qualified for IT positions in various industries.

  • Applications systems analyst
  • Computer and information systems manager
  • Database administrator
  • Network and computer systems administrator
  • Information technology support engineer

Career Outlook for IT Professionals

As companies continue to rely on data analytics, cloud computing and cybersecurity, qualified IT professionals will continue to be in demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that computer and information technology jobs should grow 13 percent during the 2016-2026 decade. Additionally, the bureau reports there should be about 557,100 new jobs in this field. As of May 2017, the average annual wage for computer and information technology specialists was $84,580, an amount substantially higher than $37,690, which was the national average for all occupations.

Unlike in the past when online programs were not looked up in the same light as on-campus programs, today online programs are just as highly regarded. Earning an Online Master’s in Information Technology degree can be the start of an exciting and lucrative career, and it can be done from the comfort of home.